A Tale of 2 Citizens
We live in a democracy - "with liberty and justice for all." If so, how come poor American citizens are punished severely merely for lying, while rich American citizens, especially financial bigshots, get away with billion-dollar swindles with a "slap on the wrist?" Two citizens, two types of justice.
Matt Taibbi, writing for Rolling Stone, demonstrates the 2 different types of justice in the U.S. by contrasting court decisions for members of 99% and for those in the 1%. First, the poor citizen:
"Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government application in order to obtain food stamps."
All she did was lie. Lying is so terrible, that McLemore got 3 years!
And now for the rich citizen:
"Compare this court decision to the fraud settlements on Wall Street. Like McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank have 'been the beneficiary of government generosity.' Goldman got $12.9 billion just through the AIG bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus hundreds of billions in government guarantees.
"All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud, and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. The closest we've come is in a fraud case involving Citi, in which a pair of executives, Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, were fined the token amounts of $100,000 and $80,000, respectively, for lying to shareholders about the extent of Citiís debt."
How do these rich guys get away with it? The rich guys have so much money, they can buy politicians; then they can buy laws to make their illegal activities legal; then they can buy negotiations with government officials to receive token punishments; and then they can buy the best lawyers in the country to twist the meaning of the law.
Two citizens. Two types of justice. The difference: money. Isn't it obvious why we have an Occupy movement that is spreading like wildfire across the country?